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Va. highway cuts may put Abingdon I-81 interchange in limbo

Staff Report • Dec 19, 2008 at 12:00 AM

The Bristol Herald-Courier is reporting that more than $173 million in highway funding has been slashed from area projects as part of $1.3 billion in proposed cuts to the state’s transportation budget.Of special interest here is the more than $91 million once earmarked for improvements to the interchange at Interstate 81’s Exit 17 in Abingdon.The report quotes Michelle Earl, spokeswoman for VDOT’s Bristol district office, saying “The only money that remains for that project is about $10 million for preliminary engineering.” Virginia's Transportation Board reviewed the proposals during a meeting in Richmond. The plan could be finalized next month after public hearings. The state board originally adopted a $10.6 billion six-year program in June, but that is being reduced to $9.3 billion, with the cuts blamed on the state’s budget woes.

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